Located on the eastern seaboard in the mid Atlantic region of the country, Delaware is one of the smallest of the 50 states of America. But it still has some wonderful golf courses that are open to the public. This tiny state boasts some great tracks designed and built by some of the most trusted names in golf. Many of the best courses are located in or around the capital of Wilmington.
If you’re looking for where to begin your Delaware golfing journey, you have come to the right place. Here are five Delaware golf courses you need to play.
Bayside Golf Course (Best Public Course) in Selbyville
Located near Fenwick Island and only a few miles from the beach, the Jack Nicklaus designed Bayside Golf Course is like three courses in one, and is the best overall and best public course in all of Delaware. Because of the varied landscape of the region, the course is at times wide open, yet at others, the fairways are lined by mature pines. What’s more is that marshlands are incorporated expertly into the layout of the course and add an extra challenge.
Water from the marshlands features prominently on numerous holes on both the front and back nine and can make for some tenuous golf. And if you can avoid the abundant water you still have to deal with the many bunkers which dot a good number of the fairways.
Bayside Golf Course measures 7527 yards from the blacks and is a regulation par 72.
A course of this quality isn’t cheap though. A round of 18 walking usually runs right around $120, although it can dip under a hundred bucks if you are willing to play later in the day.
Wilmington Country Club—South (Best Private Course) in Wilmington
Robert Trent Jones designed the south course at the Wilmington Country Club and it certainly has that classic, Jonesesque feel. Both sides showcase fairways populated by large, deep bunkers and water comes into play time and time again. The greens too can be tricky as many are tiered and in some cases oddly shaped.
The first three holes feature two standard par 4’s and are capped by a super long par 5. At well over 600 yards from the tips, hole 3 requires some serious muscle.
Overall, the course is a decent length too, measuring 7334 from the tips. Wilmington Country Club South is a par 71.
As the name suggests, Wilmington Country Club is a private course and is only open to members and guests.
Baywood Greens (Most Scenic Course) in Long Neck
Baywood Greens is a championship level course offering two beautiful and distinct nine whole tracks. Known by some as the “Augusta of the North,” the front nine of this masterpiece features fairways lined with tall, mature trees. The back, or Waterside nine, is famous for its majestic ponds which lend to the aura of the course and come in to play on eight of the nine holes.
Overall the course plays like a dream and incorporates the natural habitat of the area to great effect. The trees on hole one create a corridor and a bunker three quarters of the way up on the right comes into play as you plan your approach to the green.
Things kick off on the back with a mid length par four that finishes with a green surrounded on three sides by a massive, uniquely shaped green. The par 3 11th is one of the signature holes on the course. The green is protected by and butts right up against a large pond and makes for a pressure packed tee shot.
Baywood Greens is a little shorter than some of the other courses on the list and measures 6893 from the gold tees and is a regulation par 72.
The course utilizes dynamic pricing that is similar in structure to Bayside Golf Course, though at Baywood, prices can dip under $80 at times.
Bear Trap Dunes—Black Bear/Grizzly (Most Challenging Course) in Ocean View
Located just miles from the beach and featuring natural sand dunes native to the region, Bear Trap Dunes is one of the most demanding courses in the state. The course boasts 27 holes and every single one of them is a challenge for one reason or another.
The course requires deep thinking and strategy as you navigate your way through a litany of obstacles including sand dunes, bunkers, water hazards, and tall grass. The greens, too, are well maintained and quick.
Because the course has 27 holes, you can mix and match the three sets of nine to create three separate 18 hole layouts. The Black Bear/Grizzly option is the most challenging with a course rating of 72.7 and a slope rating of 130.
The price to play at Bear Trap Dunes can fluctuate significantly depending on the time of day, season of the year, and configuration of the 18 you choose to play. It can range from as low as $33 for a tee time late in the day, and surpass $120 during peak times.
Deerfield Golf Club (Best Deal) in Newark
Located on over 140 acres of some of the most beautiful land in the state, Deerfield Golf Club is truly a local treasure. The course is a championship level 18 hole track with long, sprawling fairways guarded by tall trees and littered with strategically placed bunkers.
The first hole is a unique par five with a green that slopes up and away and makes putting back toward the tees a real challenge. A crown of trees and bunkers surround the green of the par 3 second hole making the first two holes indicative of what kind of round you are set to have the rest of the way.
Overall, Deerfield is a manageable length, measuring a mere 6300 yards or so from the tips and is a regulation par 72.
Rates are great at this fatalistic course and can routinely be had for under $50 for 18 walking.
Delaware’s varied landscape and proximity to the ocean make for unbelievable golfing conditions. If you haven’t checked out the best Delaware golf has to offer you should soon. Happy golfing.
Did we miss a course? Share your Delaware golf experience in the comments section below.